AstraZeneca and Scorpion strike $1.5bn deal against hard-to-treat proteins

pharmafile | January 14, 2022 | News story | Medical Communications  

AstraZeneca and Scorpion have partnered to develop precision medicines against previously hard-to-target cancer proteins. The collaboration, valued at more than $1.5 billion, is expected to transform oncology treatments.

Boston-based Scorpion, alongside AstraZeneca, will focus on a class of proteins called transcription factors. These proteins control gene expression, and are able to regulate important cellular processes, which include cell growth and survival.

Transcription factors are well known as important targets for new cancer treatments and drivers of disease. Scorpion’s therapeutic approach is directed at non-enzymatic targets thought to be “undruggable.”

Under the terms of the collaboration, Scorpion will lead discovery and certain preclinical activities. AstraZeneca will then have the option to license rights for up to three candidates. If the larger company exercises this option, AstraZeneca will be responsible for global development and commercialisation activities.

Axel Hoos, CEO of Scorpion and former head of oncology at GlaxoSmithKline, commented on the collaboration: “We expect this collaboration will accelerate Scorpion’s efforts to deliver the promise of Precision Oncology 2.0: optimized, transformational therapies for more patients living with cancer,” Hoos said in a statement.

“Unlocking potentially transformative biology is pivotal for delivering the next wave of cancer treatments. Scorpion’s innovative platform is a strong strategic fit as we explore a range of new modalities across our broad drug discovery toolbox with promise to disrupt the activity of these highly-validated cancer targets,” Sara Galbraith, head of oncology R&D at AstraZeneca added.

Lina Adams

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